EDITORIAL: Why can't UK talent handle top jobs?

Nobody but the most mean-spirited would wish Craig Davis anything less than the best of luck as the Australian prepares to take over as J. Walter Thompson's European creative chief. But his impending arrival resurrects the inevitable question of why such senior creative roles aren't being filled by candidates closer to home.

This has nothing to do with xenophobia. Davis joins an Antipodean influx including Dave Alberts (Grey London), Matt Eastwood (M&C Saatchi), Dave Droga (Publicis) and Malcolm Poynton (Ogilvy & Mather) who have not only brought a refreshingly open and honest approach to their work but come from an environment in which the absence of huge production budgets has allowed good ideas to flourish.

Nevertheless, the fact that so many big UK creative jobs are being filled from Down Under ought to provoke some searching questions. Why is there no proper training structure for wannabe creative directors? What can be done to change a system that pays young creatives so much early in their careers that there's no incentive for them to take more senior roles?


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